MINSK, BELARUS: May 23, 2018
16,000 people venerate the relics of the Alapaevsk Martyrs
On May 19, 2018, a great holy reliquary containing the hand of Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth and a portion of the relics of Nun Barbara was brought to Minsk from New York. It remained in Minsk until May 22, during which over 16,000 worshipers venerated the relics.
After its arrival, the relics stayed until May 20 in Holy Spirit Cathedral. It was greeted by His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus. The reliquary was then taken to St Elizabeth Convent.
The reliquary was brought by Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Vice President of the Synodal Youth Department of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The Belarussian Orthodox Church’s Synodal Youth Department and the Prince Vladimir Youth Association (USA) supported the trip.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Royal Family, the Romanov Passion-Bearers and Grand Duchess Elizabeth.
The Grand Duchess was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was herself a Princess of Hesse and the wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Romanov (killed by terrorists in 1905), and the founder of Marfo-Mariinsky Convent of Mercy in Moscow. St Elizabeth was one of the greatest Orthodox ascetics of the 20th century.
The relics of St Elizabeth and St Barbara are encrypted in St Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles, Church, in Gethsemane, Jerusalem, The remains of the Grand Duchess were brought there from the city of Alapaevsk, Russia, in 1918. In 1981, the right hand of the holy aristocrat was brought to the United States.